One thing Medicaid does not do (yet) is keep track of your financial situation day by day. Instead, the state chooses specific dates to check whether you are eligible or not. When you first submit a Medicaid application for nursing facility care (and Elderly Waiver, in Iowa), DHS takes a “snapshot” of your financial status as of the date you first moved into the nursing home. This is called the snapshot date.

Sometimes the snapshot date and the Medicaid application are the same day. Sometimes, the snapshot date occurs months or even years before a Medicaid application is submitted.

For all applicants, the snapshot date is the first date the state will consider whether you are even eligible for assistance. DHS does not even consider your financial situation before that date.  All of your countable, non-countable, and unavailable resources are determined using that exact date. The Community Spouse Resource Allowance is also figured as of the snapshot date.

However, in Iowa at least, the snapshot date is not considered when determining the monthly income allowance for the spouse at home or for figuring out the Medicaid applicant’s co-pay at the facility. Those are calculated as of the eligibility date.  Understanding that both dates do different things can be confusing.  This is why you need an expert when planning for moving to a nursing home.

An estate planning attorney is an expert in knowing the difference between countable, non-countable, and unavailable resources; and they are also experts in knowing how the snapshot date, Medicaid application date, and the eligibility date work together to make you eligible for Medicaid.

For more information on how your snapshot date will affect your eligibility, contact our team here at the Huizenga Law Firm at (712) 737-3885 to schedule a Mutual Interview.